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How to Get Your Printer Back Online

Here are some things you can try if your printer is offline:

  • Check your connection: Make sure your printer is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, and that the cables connecting your printer to your router and your computer are secure.
  • Remove pending print jobs: On a Windows computer, you can go to Start, then Control Panel, then Devices and Printers. Right-click on the printer that has stopped connecting, and select See what's printing.
  • Power cycle the printer: Turn off the printer, unplug it, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in and turn it on.
  • Update your printer drivers: An outdated or incompatible driver can cause a printer to display an offline status. You can check the HP, Lexmark, Canon, Brother, or Xerox pages for the most recent driver updates.
  • Reinstall the printer: Uninstall and reinstall the printer software or driver on your computer.

Still having no luck?  If your printer is still offline, you can try these steps:

  1. Go to your printer and scanner settings, and set the printer as default.
  2. Select Use Printer Online.
  3. If the document does not print and the job remains queued, a printer icon will appear to the left of the time on the Windows taskbar.
  4. Select your printer, then select Open queue, then Printer, and then select Set As Default Printer.
  5. Clear Pause Printing and Use Printer Offline if they are selected.
  6. If you see a message that says, "Windows will stop managing your default printer for you," select OK.

If your printer is still offline, you can contact the printer manufacturer or a printer technician.

Troubleshooting an Offline Printer on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Experiencing an offline printer issue on your Mac can be frustrating, but many of the solutions mirror those used for troubleshooting on a Windows PC.

  1. Restart your Mac. Similar to troubleshooting on Windows PCs, restarting your Mac can solve a variety of problems, including a printer that appears offline.
  2. Perform a power cycle on your printer. Just like other electronic devices, rebooting your printer can resolve many issues. To do this, turn off the printer, disconnect it from the power source, wait for 30 seconds, then reconnect and power it on. If the printer still appears offline, proceed with further troubleshooting steps.
  3. Ensure the printer is correctly connected. An offline status may occur if the printer is not properly connected to either the network or your Mac. Check physical connections for a wired printer, ensuring the cables are securely plugged in. For wireless printers, verify the network connection status.
  4. Set the printer as the default device. Your printer might be offline because a different printer is set as the default. Ensure the printer you intend to use is set as the default device.
  5. Clear any pending print jobs. A stuck print job could cause a backlog, making the printer appear offline. Delete any pending print jobs and attempt to print again.
  6. Reinstall the printer. Sometimes, giving your printer a fresh start can resolve the issue. Uninstall and then reinstall the printer software on your Mac.
  7. Reset the Mac’s printing system. As a last resort, consider resetting your Mac’s printing system. This step should be taken with caution as it removes various permissions and settings.

By following these steps, you can address and resolve most offline printer issues on your Mac.

About William Elward

Founder of Castle Ink, William Elward has 20 years experience in the printer industry. He's been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo, PC World, Computer World, and other top publications and frequently blogs about printers and ink cartridges. He's an expert at diagnosing printer issues and has published guides to fixing common printer issues across the internet. A graduate of Bryant University and Columbia's Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, he's held various leadership positions at The College Board, Bankrate, Zocdoc, and Everyday Health. Follow him on Twitter at William Elward's Twitter Profile